Judge says AG Ravnsborg can’t use victim’s mental-health records at his trial

According to the judge, South Dakota Attorney Jason Ravnsborg cannot use Joe Boever’s mental health records when Ravnsborg is on trial.

After Ravnsborg’s defense attorney requested a private review, Circuit Judge John Brown made the final decision.

Ravnsborg is facing three second-class misdemeanors following the collision of his car and Boever on September 12, 2020.

Boever was seen walking along the westbound shoulder US 14 near the West Edge of Highmore, Hyde County.

Ravnsborg was returning from Redfield, Spink County Republican Political Event.

Scott Heidepriem was Jenny Boever’s attorney. He wrote to Judge Brown in July, stating that mental-health records could include references to her.

In the letter, the author argued that her privacy was protected by the Marsy’s law amendment that South Dakota voters have added to the state constitution.

August 8 was the date for the status hearing by the judge in this matter.

The judge stated that the hearing was about the in-camera examination of Mr. Boever’s medical records. The records will not be disclosed further.”

The trial of Ravnsborg begins Thursday at Stanley County Circuit Court. North Dakota criminal investigators determined that Ravnsborg’s vehicle was on the shoulder of the road when it collided with Boever.

Timothy Rensch, Ravnsborg’s defense attorney, stated that Ravnsborg’s vehicle was in its lane, and Boever may have been trying suicide.

Ravnsborg was charged with illegally changing lanes, operating a motor car while using an electronic device, and careless driving. Each of these charges carries a maximum sentence of 30 days in prison and a $500 fine.

In 2018, the Republican nomination was won by the first-term attorney General, who defeated a Democratic opponent in November.

Ravnsborg called 911 following the crash to say that he didn’t know what had happened and was unsure of his cause. The Hyde County Sheriff arrived on the scene. Both men searched, but they didn’t seem to find anything.

Ravnsborg used the personal vehicle of the sheriff to get to Pierre. Ravnsborg returned the next day to the scene to find Boever’s remains next to the road.

Ravnsborg was told by investigators that Boever had broken Ravnsborg’s windshield. They claimed that Boever’s glasses had been found in the front passenger seat.

Investigators believe that the flashlight Boever was using was still on when his body was discovered.

Kristi Noem, Republican Governor, repeatedly called Ravnsborg’s resignation after the crash.

Judge Brown ordered that the governor remove two videos of Ravnsborg interviewing investigators from the website of the state Department of Public Safety.

A bipartisan impeachment resolution against Ravnsborg is pending in the state House of Representatives.

Marty Jackley, the former attorney general, has already stated that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for 2022.

After the criminal trial, the widow will likely file a civil lawsuit against Ravnsborg.